Now that we’re past Halloween, the last release dates of the year will be chock-full of holiday albums. November seems to be the month when any kind of Christmas album is allowed to play in stores, so it’s also completely acceptable to begin playing your own at home.
So far, we’ve seen new winter CDs from Melissa Etheridge and Amy Grant, but sometimes it’s good to bring out the timeless editions to your collection (Mannheim Steamroller? Boyz II Men?). I’m curious — what’s your go-to holiday CD?
Shiny Toy Guns— Season of Poison (Universal Motown)
It’s hard to believe Shiny Toy Guns are from Oklahoma. OK, so now they live in L.A., and they sound like it, with their slick production quality and synthensizer-based alt-rock. Their 2006 song “Le Disko” will be a hard act to follow, though — especially as it was used in Shane’s drug-fueled car crash at the beginning of The L Word‘s Season 4.
Mavis Staples— Mavis Staples: Live at the Hideout (Anti-/Epitaph)
The R&B singer has a powerful voice and a career that has lasted for almost 40 years. Fans say that her recordings are amazing, but live, she’s just mind-blowing. On her new live album, recorded in a tiny Chicago venue this past year, you can have the best of both worlds.
Dragonette— Galore (I Surrender/Red)
Dragonette is just now releasing Galore in the U.S. for the first time, although it was released in their homeland of Canada last year. You’ve most likely heard it, as the Internet doesn’t care where you live when you’re downloading from iTunes. Still, if you like dance-pop and rock with female vocals, you’ll dig this quartet, fronted by Martina Sorbara.
Sarah Brightman — A Winter Symphony (Manhattan Records)
Known for her classic soprano voice and impressive range, Sarah Brightman has been a favorite of classical music and Broadway fans since playing the lead role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. On her first holiday album, she mixes traditional songs like “Ave Maria,” “Silent Night” and “Amazing Grace” with new ones, including four bonus tracks.